The lounge at the Triple Creek Lodge in Darby, Mont., which ranked No. 2 on… (Triple Creek Lodge )
If you were to create a bucket list of great places to stay around the world, Travel + Leisure's list of best hotels of 2012 might be a good place to start.
With a few exceptions, Travel + Leisure readers who weighed in prefer remote locations over urban centers in making their top hotel picks. High-end safari lodges in Africa snagged four of the top 10 spots with No. 1 going to Singita Grumeti Reserves in Serengeti National Park in Tanzania for the second year in a row.
Triple Creek Ranch in Darby, Mont., makes it to No. 2 overall and No. 1 in the U.S. inn/small lodge category. The adults-only resort with 23 log cabins in the Bitterroot Mountains offers fly-fishing classes, nature photography, hiking and even cattle drives with stays.
Readers also selected Bangkok as the best city in the world, and Crystal Cruises and Seabourn as best large-ship and small-ship cruise line, respectively. As for best airlines, Singapore Airlines takes top international honors and Virgin America takes top domestic carrier.
But back to the best hotels. Others in the top 10 include:
--Southern Ocean Lodge in Kangaroo Island, Australia;
--Oberoi Udaivilas in Udaipur, India;
--Discovery Shores at Boracay, Philippines;
--Nayara Hotel, Spa and Gardens in La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica;
--Singita Kruger National Park in South Africa;
--Palacio Duhau-Park Hyatt in Buenos Aires;
--Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge in Arusha, Tanzania; and
--Singita Sabi Sand, Kruger National Park Area, South Africa.
Aside from Triple Creek, U.S. hotels in the top 25 include Wentworth Mansion in Charleston, S.C. (No. 12); Tu Tu' Tun Lodge in Gold Beach, Ore. (No. 19); Osprey at Beaver Creek in Colorado (No. 21) and the Waldorf Astoria in Chicago (No. 22). The sole California property to break into the top 100 is Post Ranch Inn at Big Sur (No. 85).
Lists are also broken down by top resorts, spas and hotels by region. The magazine notes something else too: 133 of the 500 best hotels in the world start at rates of $250 a night; not a bargain, but not completely off the budget either. In compiling its ratings, the magazine collected answers to questionnaires in print and online between Dec. 1 and March 31.